Love of the Land

For the week ending 17 June 2006 / 21 Sivan 5766

Rabbi Eliezer Hakapar

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

“Let your yetzer hara (evil inclination) not delude you that the grave is a refuge, for you are formed and born against your will, and you live and die against your will” — Rabbi Eliezer Hakapar (Avot 4:22)

A person often despairs of changing his ways. He therefore resigns himself to behave in a certain pattern and takes the fatalistic attitude that if Heaven should punish him with death, it will all be over and done with. But this is an error. For whatever G-d expects his soul to accomplish will be accomplished, even if, against its will, his soul is returned to earth time and time again in order to fulfill its mission. So why suffer the pangs of death and burial if there is no escape from G-d, even in the grave?

This message is also the gist of the story of the Prophet Yonah’s failure to escape from G-d, which we read in the haftara at Mincha on Yom Kippur.

  • Mishna Berura, 622, Sha’ar Hatzion 6

© 1995-2021 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions

« Back to Love of the Land

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.